Why You Shouldn’t Clean Your Ears With A Cotton Swab

There are some people that swear by sticking a cotton swab, or Q-Tip into their ears to remove excess wax and debris.  Anyone in the medical field can tell you, they have seen many catastrophes resulting from using cotton swabs.  From punctured ear drums, to super impacted wax, there are many negative consequences associated with “do-it-yourself” ear cleaning.

There are a number of items that people use to clean their ears.  Some of the most interested seen in the doctor’s office:

  • Q-Tips
  • Hair Pins
  • Tweezers
  • Pens  
  • Straws
  • Paper Clips

CAUTION!!! It is important to understand that NOTHING should be placed inside the ear to remove dirt and debris.  This is a dangerous practice that could leave a patient with hearing loss.

The ear drum is easily reached with a Q-Tip.  Because the ear drum is so delicate, it can be easily ruptured by using even the gentlest of pressure with a swab.  Ask anyone who has experienced a punctured ear drum, it isn’t a pleasant experience.  The pain is quite severe, and the ear may also leak a clear fluid.  While a punctured ear drum will heal, it typically takes awhile, may need surgery, and can even lead to conductive hearing loss.

So, do you need to clean your ears?  The outer ear- yes.  The ear canal, not so much.  During hair washing or showers, enough water enters into the ear canal to loosen the wax, and the skin in your ear canal naturally grown in an outward, spiral pattern.  For those with heavy wax build-up, a trip to the doctor may be needed.  If you or someone you know is experiencing wax or dirt build-up in your ears, contact your medical care professional.  


This content was provided by http://www.healthyhearing.com/content/articles/Hearing-loss/Causes/47773-Swab-hearing-loss


About entandaudiology

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